Stop Wasting Time

Welcome to Cross Search. I’m Jodie Papike. The goal of this blog has always been to be able to bring real-life situations that we experience with advisors that we’re working with to you, our audience. And today, I’d love to chat about what has come up over and over and over again with advisors, honestly, since we were formed in the late ’80s. And that is, advisors spend so much time talking to firms that ultimately they would never join. Honestly, that’s what our process has been from the very beginning of our formation is to really help advisors understand what is most important to them and really prioritize their wishlist and their deal breakers, if you will, before they ever go into conversations with firms. What I experience with advisors is that, unfortunately, sometimes advisors find to us once they’ve talked to several firms, and they come to us because they’re frustrated with the process. They feel overwhelmed, they feel confused, and candidly, every firm starts to sound very similar. But the truth is, firms are very, very different from each other. So what we do with advisors is we start with, what are your deal breaker items and what are the things that are most important to you?

So today, I want to bring up the four things that you could focus on the most and really spend time diving into in a deeper level so that you don’t spend any time when you’re talking to firms. You go into conversations with firms with your priority list. So the first one of that item list is pricing. So many advisors focus on payout because it’s very easy to focus on the payout candidly. It’s I get a 90 % now and I want to make sure that the firm that I go to, I’m either getting a 90 or higher. But honestly, there are things within the pricing of firms that is so much more impactful than what your payout is going to be. For example, if you do advisory business, What is the admin fee of the firm that you’re going to? And in addition to that, if you’re using third party money managers, making sure that from day one, you’re discussing the manager fee at your current firm versus the manager at the firm that you’re potentially going to. Also within pricing is the expenses that the firm charges. You can focus honestly on the big things like the E&O policy, but you also have to focus in on technology costs and what those technology costs cover to make sure that you’re really looking at an apples to apples comparison.

Because, again, advisors will say, great, I’m getting a 90 % payout. And then way later down the line, maybe weeks down the line, realize that their fees are going from 3,000 a year to 12,000 a year, just in their hard costs of affiliating with a firm. So when you’re looking at pricing, go a lot deeper into that discussion from day one. The second thing is product availability. And a lot of advisors obviously know that they need to make sure that if they’re selling mutual funds, variable annuities, they need to look at the list of products available. But What I find is an even more important conversation to have from day one is what money managers are you using if you’re using any, for example. Not every firm is very robust with regards to the managers that they allow advisors to use or that they have access to. So if you’re using specific money managers, bring that up from the first conversation and make sure that if those managers are not approved, that they can get approved. Some firms are very flexible with adding managers and adding products in general, whereas others just are not. The third thing, and it’s very, very important, is structure of your business, because some firms are very flexible and they allow outside the box business models, whereas others are very restrictive.

So for example, do you have your own RIA? Or do you have a structure where you’re supervising multiple advisors in different locations? Do you have any outside business activities that are maybe a little bit outside the box that need to be approved from day one. So go into conversations with a detailed explanation of what your specific business looks like and make sure that it could be accommodated at a new potential firm because that structure and understanding your structure could eliminate firms from the very first conversation. And the fourth and final thing that is really important to look into is is technology and the clearing firm. So if you are, for example, today clearing through purging, and you want to make sure that you keep purging as a clearing firm, then bring that up from the first time you’re talking to a firm. If they clear through NFS, for example, or their self-clearing, then you can eliminate that firm from day one. With regards to technology, come up with a detailed list of the technology that you’re currently using and discuss any It’s really one of those pieces of your technology stack that are deal breakers.

And if those are not compatible with the firm that you’re considering or they’re not available, something that you really have to consider. So obviously, this is really just scratching the surface with regards to your priority list and what’s most important to you. Candidly, this is what we help advisors explore and focus on as our first step of our process. We go into a lot of detail with advisors about understanding their business and what’s most important before we ever present firms to them. That way, candidly, our value is helping advisors save time and be most efficient of selecting a new firm. So if you would ever like to explore the opportunities that are available to you, we would love to hear from you. So give us a confidential call today.

Jodie Papike

Jodie Papike is the CEO & Managing Partner of Cross-Search, the first third-party, independent broker dealer advisor and executive placement firm. Since joining Cross-Search in 1997, Jodie has been consulting with financial advisors transitioning to new independent broker dealers, guiding them through the entire process of identifying their most appropriate options, negotiating a deal and transitioning clients. Jodie has an intricate knowledge of the securities industry and a deep understanding of each of the major independent broker dealer firms, enabling her to help advisors find and transition to a broker-dealer that best suits their needs. Cross Search has placed thousands of advisors, producing more than 375 mill. in gross dealer concessions. Jodie takes the utmost pride in finding a firm for an advisor that will not only better their career, but will also be a good home for them for years to come. Jodie is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, is regularly quoted and published in publications such as Investment News, Registered Rep, Financial Planning, Life Insurance Selling and Advisor One. Jodie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State, graduating with honors.